25 Things I’ll Tell My Wife

It took me years before that ‘w’ word would come out of my mouth without hesitation. My parents divorced when I was two, and they’ve each been married three times. Why would I ever want to get married and even risk that? Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Whereas some people have an example of what works set for them to repeat, I get to start blank and be my own author without precedent. There’s a certain freedom in that. Without further rambling, I present to anyone reading: an open letter to my future wife.

1. I’ll buy you things, but won’t try to buy you. Money can’t fix mistakes. Forgiveness can’t be bought. I believe money to be a tool, a bridge between where we are and where we can go in life; not a tool to pay for someone’s love, time, or affection. Without someone to share it with, nothing is worth a dime. I’ll try every day to earn what must be earned, not paid for.

2. Expect flowers. You’ll mention your favorite flower once and not even realize that I’ll remember it forever. Just know I’ll never see them as an adequate substitute for an apology, a replacement for treating you well, or a right to a previous wrong.

3. I hope you don’t like weird baby names. If I’m going to be strong enough to resist the urge to name our son Chipper, meet me in the middle. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel here.

4. I’ll listen. Even when you’re being difficult, stubborn, and complicated.

5. I’ll remember. Your likes, so I can get close to them. Your dislikes, so I can avoid them. What your first Halloween costume was, so I can remind you how cute you looked. Where you’ve been, so I can be thankful for where you are. Where you want to go, so I can be inspired to go there with you. What your biggest dreams are, so I can do whatever I can to push you towards them. Where our first date was, so we can go back.

6. I love you. I’ll be as proud of that as I am of any other accomplishment, because I believe finding your own epic love story is one of the highest achievements known to human life. It’ll be my goal for saying those three words not to become an empty habit and stay a meaningful declaration.

7. Thanks. By the time I get to you, I’ll have been hurt several times over. Thanks for letting me get to you, because in the end I’ll be getting into you only because you got to me first. You’re different in the best way possible.

8. The final say belongs to you. I’m no fool. If you’re happy, I’m happy. If I’m not happy, I better learn how to be. I’ll do my best to lead the home, but you’re going to be much smarter than me. Aside from my ability to drop a few bars of rap on a beat and tell you what Chipper Jones’ batting average was in 2008 (.364), I expect that you’ll teach me more than I’ve ever learned.

9. Your value is not found in me. I have nothing to do with your value as a person, and you’ll know that. I’ll do my best to encourage and support the things that make you who you are, but the reason you have value is that you’re you. That’s truer than true.

10. I don’t believe in divorce. If something is broken, I want to fix it. Not throw the pieces in the garbage. Call me old fashioned, but a divorce to me is about as good of an idea as laying down in a tub full of rusty razorblades. Our biggest priorities determine our biggest devotions. Mine will be you.

11. You be my soft and sweet. I’ll be your strong and steady. Fill the holes left by my checkered past. Be the wine to my whiskey. The person you are will reflect the person I want to be, and together that’s just a whole big bunch of awesomeness. The world ain’t ready.

12. Never let me become normal. I was once told by someone very smart that I should be intimidated by the fear of being average. To this day, I am. You’re anything but normal, so expect the same from me.

13. You’ll never not be enough. I’ll trade in my celebrity pass list for permission from your father to marry you. I’ll give up time with my friends for more memories with you. You’re more than enough, and I’ll never need to leave you for someone else. Signed, sealed, delivered. I’m yours.

14. When I met you, I only wanted you to be happy. Even if it wasn’t with me. The fact that I’m the one who gets to make you happy for the rest of your life leaves me speechless. The only goal from the beginning was to see you smile. This is just a bonus.

15. I’ll need a few hundred second chances, but hopefully no third ones. Mistakes stop being mistakes when they become matters of conscious decision. Never put up with me being foolish enough to be reckless with your emotions many times over.

16. It doesn’t matter what, where or when. It only matters who. Nights spent dressed up downtown when we’re 25 will be just as fun as staying home and doing the dishes together before watching a movie when we’re 30. A Sunday spent at the Braves game when we’re 30 will be just as fun as carpooling kids in a minivan to soccer practice on a Saturday when we’re 40. Times change. That doesn’t mean the love will.

17. I’ll always remember our first date. I’ll never forget what you wore, what we did, what we talked about, or the feeling I had when I saw you walking my way. The way I tried not to let you catch my stare into your eyes will always resonate, and the tiny little thought that was so amazing was that those eyes were looking right back at me. 

18. Everybody has a past. I won’t be the first guy you’ve dated, but I hope to be the last. I won’t bring your past hurt into our relationship. I won’t worry about where you’ve been, only where you are. It’s all about where we’re going.

19. I’ll date you forever. Dating isn’t merely a process before marriage. It continues afterwards. Easier said than done, but it’ll always be a priority for me to make you feel prioritized. Even if it means sacrificing time I could have solo with my friends, it’s always better when we’re together.

20. Hope you don’t get seasick. Time will be made for vacations whenever possible, whether it’s on a cruise for a week far from home, a couple of days in a cabin, or a date day nearby. I’ll never regret interrupting normal life to get away with you.

21. I’ll be amazed at the mother you become. Our kids will be the luckiest to have ever been born. Not because I’m their dad, but because they’ll always be able to call you their mom.

22. I’ll take the good stuff. No, that won’t be a tall one after work. It won’t be shots of Patron to numb a bad day, a fight, or a speed bump in the road of our marriage. I won’t be able to find the good stuff at the corner bar. It’ll be coming back to you, working it out, and moving on. The love I’ll have for you is stronger than the whiskey.

23. Take your time coming home. Take the long way around. If there’s ever a time when you’re tired of the view from the same window, a time when you feel the need to go find yourself, go. Go write your name in new sand and put your feet into new water. I’ll be here. I want to hold you, but I don’t want to hold you back.

24. Nothing safe is worth the drive. I know we’ve got bills to pay, and nothing figured out just yet. But let’s never forget to be spontaneous along the way. Teach me how to take more risks and live with more abandon for borders and guidelines. Let’s do things all the time that scare the living hell out of us and make our own new rules.

25. I’ve been waiting for you. I’ve hoped to become and be the person you’re looking for, and hoped my eyes would be shaped to hold you higher than the rest. You won’t be without your quirks, but I’ll love them endlessly. You’ve got that one thing that I’ll never be able to describe. All that you are is all that I’ll ever need.

So, alas, all that’s left is to meet you. Maybe I already have. Maybe when I do I’ll know immediately, or maybe the signs will come subtly along the way. All I have left to say is I’m glad you exist, because sooner or later, you’re going to be the best thing that has ever been mine.

For a continuation of this list, click here to see Part II.

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91 thoughts on “25 Things I’ll Tell My Wife

  1. Kaitlin says:

    And I’m sure when you meet this woman she will want to honor you, make you her priority, encourage your dreams, and uplift you in all she does. I’m do excited for y’all to find each other! Great post, I’m in awe (and love the country music references :p)

  2. Jess says:

    I adore the country music references, your blatant honesty, and your truthful heart. Even with a past and the pain I carry with me, there is hope for the world and for love when I stumble upon gentlemen like you. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Amy1987 says:

    This is very sweet. Reminds me of my husband. Both of his parents were married 4 times. My parents were married 45 years, so that was unusual to me. But he was very committed from the start. I think because of his upbringing, family means everything to him. We have been married 27 years. Good luck. She’s out there.

  4. Amanda says:

    Thank you for writing this…it makes me very hopeful that there are men like you in the world! I hope to marry someone like the man who wrote this someday

  5. Gaby says:

    Literally crying because this sounds like it was written from my heart. Glad to know guys like you do exist! Say, you live close to uga? 😉

  6. Sammie says:

    Treat a woman that well and you will be treated as a king to her. I wish more men thought thisway.. I hope you find her, because you deserve her and she will be absolutely lucky to have you.

  7. Courtney Collins says:

    This is everything I have ever wanted from a man, but never found the words to ask for it. Thank you so much for your inspiration and restoring my faith in love and marriage!

  8. Marry me! haha jk but literally the only thing that would make this more perfect is if you added that you would be her spiritual accountability partner along her walk with Christ 🙂

  9. GeorgiaPeach says:

    I’m a closet romantic, so to know that there are men out there who are or will one day love their wife with everything they’ve got, allows girls like me to continue to believe; believe in happy endings, believe that true love does exist, and that beating the odds is extremely possible. Your future wife is one lucky girl, thanks for sharing!

  10. Lol hilarious list. I agree with most as far as what I’ll tell my wife.

    #4 “I’ll listen”, would be probably be the most challenging for me…as a man 🙂

  11. Elise says:

    Nathan, you have grown up so much since high school! I love the country references and your honesty. If I do recall you have always been a great guy. Whoever you find, she will be just as lucky as you! Trust me on that one!

  12. Summer says:

    This is seriously the sweetest thing I’ve EVER read!!!! I’m 26 and still waiting for the “right” one to come along. Alot of people tell me that I’m too picky, that the kind of guy I’m looking for doesn’t exist. Thank you for proving them wrong. Best of luck in finding that special woman. I know I’m not giving up 🙂

  13. Allison says:

    While reading this I tried to find something wrong with you. Maybe a misspelled word or something I wouldn’t like. I guess I always figured men like you aren’t real. Thank you for changing my mind, it’s going to be a real struggle finding a man with the same ideals.

  14. diane says:

    I can not believe you are still single. I would love to meet a guy like you and many other ladies no doubt. You will make someone very happy.

  15. It’s inspiring to know that there are guys like you out there…guys that truly value women and don’t view them as objects. Whoever you do decide to spend the rest of your life dating, she will be very lucky.

  16. Milly says:

    This sounds very genuine, and if it is, I applaud you. Though I may not draw any conclusions about your character based on these words, it is outstanding to know thoughts like these are being created. I think this list can serve as a reminder to not take those you love and whom love you for granted. Everyone would like to think they don’t, but you call us all out by reminding us of the human condition. I hope this brings people inspiration and compassion… I know it did for me. Thank you.

  17. Jordan D. says:

    My boyfriend sent this to me saying that since he can’t find a way to put into words how he feels that this is it. I’m now bawling. You will make an awesome husband one day.

  18. I am reading this and my heart is so happy to find there is someone who feels exactly the same way I do. It’s amazing to me to find every word I’ve ever thought or said is written down here in this article. “I’ll be your soft and sweet, you be my strong and steady.”

  19. Emily says:

    I love this! I’m doing something similar for my further husband.. I’m writing him letters. I’ll write him a letter for every big day that will happen in our lives. Yesterday I wrote him one for the night of our wedding. Today, it was heavy on my heart to write him one about when we hear the words “congratulations, you’re pregnant!” I can’t wait to see his face when he reads these, & know that without knowing who he is yet, I was still thinking of him.

  20. Surprised that any other men agreed with you Nathan, but sure am glad that they did..Your thoughts about love and marriage are so out of the norm for this time, but I wish that life could be exactly as you describe…I have been married to the same man for 46 years and can’t imagine being with anyone else. You’ll find the right woman on day. I wish you luck on your journey

  21. Dear Nathan,

    I just finished reading your post and as many have previously stated, I as well have been impacted from your post. My favorite part is when you state that you will wait. I’m a 23 year old girl whose making that transition from college to independence and it’s frightening. I think as female it can be difficult with the pressure to meet certain expectations. Sure my family is saying there’s plenty of time to get married, but they always end with “it’s not until you are 25 that the clock begins to count down.” Your story sounds very familiar to mine. My parents divorced when I was eleven and I have found myself believing marriage to be something really special. I do ask you to please be with someone who can appreciate baseball. Unlike other sports, baseball doesn’t have a time limit and should be enjoyed with someone who can appreciate a good game, a hotdog and a nice cold beer.

    I often find myself at the grocery store wondering where that “special someone” is or if they even exist. I absolutely love each each item you would say to your wife and I pray that where ever she is that she’s waiting for you.

  22. Alexis Sturgill says:

    You are perfect & you give me hope that one day I’ll find the guy who will do all these things and feel all these feelings towards me.

  23. Lauren says:

    Nathan,
    Thank you. Thank you for giving me hope that there are guys in the world like you. I don’t know who let you in on the secret, but you just listed everything that women want and look for in a husband. I can only pray that I meet someone like you one day, and hear these things. I’m 23, and it sometimes feels like there is no guy in the world that feels this way anymore. It’s refreshing to know I’m wrong.

    Keep writing.

  24. Becca says:

    I have seen a few young men post blogs and such similar to this and all I can say is thank you. It’s easy to make marriage an idol, but at the same time I think there is something incredible unique about caring, sacrificing, and waiting for your future spouse. I write letters to my future husband- I’ve done it off and on for years but in the last year it’s gotten much more frequent. It’s a wonderful way to remind yourself why you wait, and a sweet way to let your spouse know that you’ve cared for them all along. Thank you for your care of your wife and I hope it doesn’t take too long to find her, until you do continue to strive to be the man you are meant to be.
    Well done and God bless.

  25. Devon B says:

    What a beautiful piece. It’s nice to know guys like you are out there as I just broke up with my boyfriend for his lack of understanding 2, 4, 5, 10, 13, 14, 15…. Ok, most of them! Whoever snags you will be a very lucky woman and will so everything on this list for you as well. Wishing you the best!

  26. c says:

    This is what i should have waited for in husband. don’t settle 🙂 or you will be 24 reminiscing on the things you dreamed about when you looked forward to being in love. i adore this. and i am printing this off for if ever have a BEAUTIFULson.

  27. Lexie Marie says:

    This is truely beautiful. You can never find a man who is willing to say these things. I can relate to him, my mother has been married five times, and my father four. I want true love the first time. Not trial and error.

  28. Chloe Moore says:

    This is so incredibly beautiful. It’s sad that this is not the norm. Every man should take the time to cherish the woman who has chosen him. Too many men take their relationships for granted, as do women. As research on relationships has shown, not putting enough effort into a relationship, after there was much effort in the beginning, is the leading cause of divorce. So, keep dating her, keep up the hard work. She’s worth it…and so am I. It takes a lot to say that for a lot of women in a world filled with adverse opinions. I hope to find someone like you one day.

  29. Roy Bass says:

    All the right words? Absolutely. Unfortunately though, one rarely sees the same words (in context) written by a woman. Its a reciprocal relationship, isnt it? As Chloe said above, “Too many men take their relationships for granted, As Do Women.” The trick is to make SURE, regardless of how YOU feel, that you BOTH feel this way… and that its BOTH, you’re deepest desire. Otherwise, trust me, it WILL end. WAIT for the right one guys and gals…… Wait. Its worth it. 🙂

  30. Jessica B. says:

    I love this. I have to say, being a 24 year old woman who has never been on a date or been kissed, I lost sight on love a few times over the last few year. I need a guy like the one you described above. I need someone to love me for who I am, not for who he wants me to be.

    Now that I have poured my heart out, I will leave you with this:

    I hope that you find a wife that will make marriage fun. I hope you find someone who will love you forever and always!!

  31. Elise says:

    Wow, right now I’m waiting on the man that God has set aside for me to make his entrance into my life… I hope he has the same kind of love for me that you speak of. This was very sweet and it gave me hope, thanks!!!

  32. Haley says:

    Loved checking out your blog (although this posting is my favorite)! Very well-written and sincere. This gives girls hope that there are still decent guys out there somewhere. You’ll make someone very happy one day. Best wishes!

  33. I must thank you for such a beautiful and openly written blog. I relate so closely, as my family had seen so many marriages and divorces, that I had lost faith in others respect for what I deemed to be the most sacred commitment two partners could embark upon. I met a man years later, believing his sincerity stating he revered the union as much as I did. Eventually we married, only to find myself in a very abusive situation a year into my marriage. As you, I did not believe in divorce, and tried endlessly to repair our union, remaining fully devoted, but I was the only one trying. To my dismay my marriage was traumatic & ended in divorce. It has been years, I’ve still yet to date. I’d lost my faith in love, and lost trust in my own judgement. YOUR ARTICLE truly has brought me to tears through joy, by realizing they’re genuine and beautiful souls out there still, and realizing I need to keep the faith. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for what you’ve written & the beautiful man you are!
    Sincerely, A.Jones

  34. This is amazing. Don’t let anyone break your spirit! It sucks to grow up and watch our parents go through bad relationships, and what’s worse is they probably knew they weren’t meant for eachother but they settled. You will meet people that will take advantage of these traits and not fully appreciate them, but you will find someone who appreciates, and reciprocates all of these things. Good luck friend

  35. This is amazing. Don’t let anyone break your spirit! It sucks to grow up and watch our parents go through bad relationships, and what’s worse is they probably knew they weren’t meant for eachother but they settled. You will meet people that will take advantage of these traits and not fully appreciate them, but you will find someone who appreciates, and reciprocates all of these things. Good luck friend

  36. Maria says:

    Hey nathan,

    i was taken aback by this beautiful and great blog. i loved every thought of yours. i loved every single point you wrote there and i want to be such a wife to my partner. Waiting and i hope that waiting wont be in vain. Thanks for writing this.

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